Soba choko means "Small cup for Soba". During the Edo Period (1603-1868) in Japan "soba" (buckwheat noodles) became a popular urban dish. For this dish a choko (cup) was used for holding a dipping sauce.
The soba choko cups were produced primarily at the kilns of Arita in Hizen (the old name for the region now renamed Saga and Nagasaki prefectures). An infinite variety of patterns were used to decorate the soba choko cups, both Japanese and western inspired, strikingly colorful or in sophisticated blue and white designs.
Choko cups are today a popular collector's area and many books are dedicated to this area however most appears to be in Japanese. However, as the name suggests, the cups were originally intended for eating soba, their use have today been extended to various purposes such as ice cream, fruits, various desserts or as tea cups.